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Who will be first to return to the Moon ?

Posted on Friday, 7 December, 2012 | Comment icon 3 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt believes that private firms will soon take over from space agencies.

One of the last men to walk on the Moon, Schmitt maintains that private enterprises will lead the way for future space travel and that government agencies are simply too "inefficient" to launch another manned Moon mission. Once space travel becomes sufficiently economical private companies are likely to dominate the space sector in everything from tourism to asteroid mining. Schmitt also believes that space-based operations will allow companies to mine a new type of fuel known as helium-3.

"The economy of space and economy of settlements of the Moon will be supported by helium-3," he said. "When you have a reason to build rockets and spacecraft and mining machines, costs will come down."

"One of the last men to set foot on the Moon has said that private enterprise will be the driving force for a return to the lunar surface."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (3)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Chooky88 on 7 December, 2012, 15:39
I've believed this for a decade or so.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Arbenol68 on 7 December, 2012, 18:10
I'm not sure it's because governments are too inefficient. I think it's because they've got their priorities ar$e-end upwards. Especially when you consider how much some countries spend on their war machines and the futile war on drugs. It's sad, but the next major steps in space exploration and settlement will come from private enterprise. Some will do this out of entirely philanthropic motives, but I fear they will be in the minority. How long before we see a giant yellow "M" embellishing our moon?
Comment icon #3 Posted by OldN8Dogg on 7 December, 2012, 18:31
I personally think that having the private sector advance our ability to use the resources off our planet is a good thing. I'd be much more in favour of mining asteroids, but as you have to start somewhere, the moon might be a good "classroom" for off planet resource gathering. I would want to see heavy regulation, since you don't want to mess too much with the thing that regulates our tides...hehe... But since it is clear that we are running out of resources here, we'd be stupid not to be searching for resources elsewhere. Let the private sector find the efficient, p... [More]

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